Boeing, Honeywell Aerospace and Rolls-Royce Deutschland have today agreed to provide in-service support for the Chinook helicopters T55 engines, should the helicopter win the German Luftwaffe’s heavy-lift helicopter competition.
The agreement builds on the existing Chinook Germany Industry Team announced in 2018. Under the agreement, Honeywell will license Rolls-Royce Deutschland as its in-country partner to perform depot-level maintenance on the Chinook’s T-55 engine.
A decision from the Luftwaffe on what helicopter it will select for its ‘Schwerer Transporthubschrauber’ (STH) requirement is expected next year.
Boeing Defense, Space & Security in Germany vice president Michael Hostetter said: “The partnership between Honeywell, Rolls-Royce Deutschland and our industry team members provides an established local supply base for around-the-clock parts availability, NATO interoperability and streamlined aircraft maintenance procedures.
“The Luftwaffe will have access to training and sustainment solutions that ensures the H-47 Chinook’s readiness for any mission.”
Boeing has offered the Luftwaffe the H-47 extended range Chinook that is fitted with an air-to-air refuelling boom. If Germany selects the Chinook, the rotorcraft will be fitted with the T55-714 variant of the engine, with Boeing emphasising the importance to minimising design changes to the aircraft.
The Chinook still has an active production line, so Boeing has said the Luftwaffe’s first helicopters could be delivered quickly if the H-47 is selected. Negotiations on a possible contract are still ongoing.
Honeywell Aerospace Engineering vice president and general manager Oliver Stucky said: “Through an evolution of increasing engine power and performance growth derivatives, Honeywell’s T-55 engine has supported the Chinook helicopter for nearly 60 years.
“During this time, Honeywell has produced more than 6,000 T-55 engines, which have logged about 12 million hours of operation. Our partnership with Boeing and Rolls-Royce Deutschland will provide the Luftwaffe with access to a world-class maintenance and repair and overhaul facility for the T-55 in Germany. The in-country location will also ensure fast and flexible reactions to cater to the demanding needs of the Luftwaffe.”
It is expected that, should Boeing be selected by the Luftwaffe, all in-service support will be able to be carried out in-country. Air Force Technology understands that discussions have been had about the possibility of using Rolls Royce Deutschland to support other NATO allies Chinook fleets.
The H-47 is used by eight NATO members; Canada, Greece, Italy, Spain, Turkey, the Netherlands, the UK and US. Boeing highlights this as showing how the Chinook would offer the Luftwaffe interoperability with allies.
Rolls-Royce Deutschland managing director Dr Holger Cartsburg said: “For decades, our highly qualified specialists at our German sites have provided comprehensive services for a wide range of engines operated by the German armed forces.
“Today’s announcement proves that a world-class team is already preparing for the delivery of the first helicopter.”
Rolls-Royce Deutschland on a press call said that the companies ‘decades’ of experience working on the T53 family of engines – used on the Bell UH-1H Huey, Huey II and AH-1H Cobra – meant the company was well suited to provide in-service support to the Chinook’s T55 engine.
Boeing Germany and Central and Eastern Europe president Dr Michael Haidinger said: “Our extended partnership with Rolls-Royce and Honeywell will deliver a strong services, maintenance and training offering for the H-47 in Germany while further integrating our operations into Germany’s aerospace fabric.
“This is just one example of how we continue building strong partnerships with local industrial primes for the Bundeswehr’s STH requirements.”